- —Nico Minoru[src]
Every year, Nico Minoru's parents would join five other couples in a "charity event." One year, Nico and the other kids decided to spy on their parents. Nico was shocked to discover her father speaking a strange enchantment, and after witnessing the murder of an innocent girl by their parents ("The Pride"), Nico joined the others in running away from their parents.
While on the run, Nico reencountered her parents. Her mother, wielding a large staff with a ball at the end ("the Staff of One"), revealed that she and Nico's father were dark wizards. She then attempted to jam the Staff into Nico's chest. Nico's body, curiously, absorbed it. After she was later cut by Dale Yorkes' samurai battle-axe, the Staff re-emerged from her chest, prompting Nico to use the phrase "Freeze," and freeze Stacey Yorkes. Nico was discovered to be a witch, and the Staff would only emerge when she bled. Sometime after running off, Nico took on the name Sister Grimm to escape the name her parents gave her, but dropped it after a while. After team leader Alex outed himself as a mole and was defeated along with the Pride, Nico was accepted as the group's leader.
Following the team's initial dissolution, Nico was sent to live at Father Flanagan's Home for Unwanted Goth Kids. While there, she was soon talked into going to a nightclub with her friends, where she met her parents' old rival Marie Laveau; Laveau sought revenge on Nico's parents for stealing the Black Mirror, one of the four Cornerstones of Creation. After Laveau explained that she needed Nico's blood to activate the Black Mirror, Nico willingly offered it up, knowing that this would bring out the Staff of One. The two fought, and Nico easily prevailed. Having regained the mirror, Nico attempted to bring back Alex Wilder using the Mirror; however, the spell failed, the Mirror shattered, and the last page of the Darkhold was revealed behind the glass. Laveau took it and fled, while Nico accepted her place as an outcast with the Runaways.
As a fugitive
After being warned of a future threat named Victor Mancha, Nico and the Runaways found and abducted Victor to question him. After Victor's mother was murdered and Ultron, his father, was destroyed, Nico invited Victor to become a part of the team, much to the anger of some members, notably Chase. Nico reassured them that she was willing to "rip Victor's damn heart out" if necessary. Karolina tried to kiss Nico, revealing that she was a lesbian.
After Chase tied Nico up before he attempted to sacrifice himself to the Gibborim, Nico interpreted it as a cry for help and led the Runaways to intervene Chase's self-sacrifice. The Gibborim instead attempted to take Nico, revealing that Nico's soul was innocent, thus suitable for the Gibborim's consumption. Victor rescued Nico and the two formed a relationship. After defeating the Gibborim, Victor asked Nico what she was willing to do if Chase did something like this again; Nico responded by saying she was willing to "rip Chase's damn heart out" if necessary. After returning to their lair beneath the La Brea Tar Pits, Xavin realized she had publicly exposed their location, drawing the attention of Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D.. Nico, stepping into her role as a leader, led the Runaways in a cross-country escape from Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D..
After escaping the authorities, the Runaways headed to New York where Nico anxiously made a deal with the Kingpin. In a twisted turn of events, the Runaways ended up time-displaced to 1907 New York, where Nico was kidnapped and brought to a woman named "the Witchbreaker." The Witchbreaker claimed she was Nico's great-grandmother, and stated she would teach Nico how to withstand more pain and, therefore, wield more magic with better proficiency. She wielded a weapon similar to the Staff of One, with more adornments. When reunited with her comrades, a significant development to Nico's abilities was evident, where she was freely able to float, displayed more proficiency and confidence in casting spells, and was able to use a spell with an effect more complicated than most of her others thus far. Somehow Nico had obtained the Witchbreaker's Staff. During this period, Victor fell in love with another girl, corrupting his relationship with Nico before they returned to the present.
During the global shape-shifting alien invasion by the Skrulls, Nico and the other Runaways briefly remained in New York after returning from 1907, trusting that "hiding in plain sight" would be sufficient to conceal their own identities and that it would be best if they showed Klara around her city in the future before they returned to Los Angeles. However, to their shock, an armada of Skrull ships attack New York and its civilians. Xavin, trying to fool the invaders into thinking she intended to help them, used a force field to knock out the Runaways; Nico and Victor were still conscious, however, and they attacked Xavin, accusing her of being a traitor. Xavin revealed that she was trying to protect them and convinced them that the Skrulls were too dangerous for them to fight and pled with them to flee to the Leapfrog. The Runaways eventually united with the Young Avengers to assist against the invading Skrulls. Nico insisted on leading her team to help the Young Avengers continue the fight against the Skrulls, refusing to "run away." However, Wiccan urged her to leave, claiming that if the Young Avengers lost, they would need the Runaways to save them.
Nico used a spell ("scatter") to scatter a group of invading Majesdanians all over the planet. The spell, however, had unwanted side-effects: it emotionally scattered the Runaways. Victor realized this in time, and Nico spearheaded a massive escape from the returning Majesdanians. A short time later, the Runaways realized that having obeyed Nico, breaking the enchantment. Regardless, Xavin shapeshifted into Karolina and left Earth, much to the other Runaways' great grief.
Later on, Nico used the spell "Zombie Not" to turn an army of zombies back to humans. The spell backfired, actually turning the zombies into a "zombie knot", thus creating one large zombie. The Runaways deduced that after the Witchbreaker had tortured and trained Nico, Nico's magical abilities had been severely augmented. Val Rhymin's magician informed Nico that the Staff of One carried tremendous magical ability and Nico, being young, should not use it. The magician stole the Staff from her, only to be killed after the Staff defended itself. A silent Nico took her Staff back and warned the other Runaways not to touch it.
Nico dedicated her efforts to providing normalcy for her teammates. She tried to enroll Molly in the Xavier School's San Francisco campus, but this backfired when one of the many victims of Molly's late parents kidnapped her. Later, she tried to stage a prom in an attempt to give her older teammates an outlet for their sexual tension, which had been growing worse after Victor lost Lillie and Karolina lost Xavin. This also backfired, as Victor, who'd been given the task of finding music, hacked into what he thought was some shut-in's private radio station. The radio signal was actually coming from a naval air weapons base that was awaiting the arrival of a mysterious plane, and Victor's hacking reproduced the radio signal, causing the craft to hit the Runaways' home by accident. Most of the team was unharmed, but Old Lace was seemingly killed and Klara was buried beneath a pile of rubble and panicked, causing the house to become engulfed in a forest of vines. Nico tried various methods to calm Klara down, but Chase kept sabotaging them, as he resented Klara for surviving. His efforts caused Klara to become increasingly worked up, until finally Nico resorted to using magic to force her to calm down. She also sent Old Lace's body into another dimension to to keep it from becoming a source of conflict among the team.
Meanwhile, a military unit had arrived to investigate the crash, but was held at bay by Klara's vines. Fortunately, Chase's long-lost uncle, Hunter Stein arrived, and due to the vines mistaking him for one of the Runaways, was allowed through the vines, whereupon Chase revealed that he believed that he'd killed Hunter years earlier in an accident, and thus refused to deal with him. Undeterred, Hunter led the team to a secret garage within the house, where they found a new Leapfrog. The Runaways escaped while the military opted to burn down the house and call it a night.
While the team hid out, Chase decided that he needed to get away from his teammates for a while and left them on the pretense of going out to buy food. After he failed to return (having been hit by a car while chasing after an apparently-resurrected Gert), the rest of the team were summoned to a meeting with Hunter, who offered to help them find a new place to live. Nico, wary of accepting aid that might alienate Chase, and unaware that Chase himself had been taken to a hospital, turned down the offer.
The Return of Old Lace
Sometime later, Chase began to sense Old Lace's presence and became convinced that she was still alive, but trapped in another dimension. The Runaways reluctantly traveled to Avengers Academy to consult with Dr. Hank Pym. After some misunderstandings, Pym agreed to help them, and with the aid of Reptil, opened a portal to the dimension where Old Lace was living. The team's joyful reunion was cut short, however, when Nico discovered that Pym and Tigra believed that the Runaways were unfit to raise Molly and Klara, and were planning to separate the two from the rest of the team. Naturally a battle ensued, but the Academy students refused to fight the Runaways just because they were refusing to disband. Seeking to dispel any further conflict, Nico used a spell that allowed the Runaways and the Academy staff to see each other's memories. The Runaways saw that Pym only sought to help them, while the Pym and Tigra saw that Molly and Klara truly saw the Runaways as their only family. Subsequently, the two parties brokered a compromise where the Academy left the Runaways alone as long as the Runaways reported to the Academy on a regular basis to prove that they were all in good health. The two groups parted on friendly terms.
Nico was one of the 16 super-powered teens captured and brought to Murderworld where Arcade planned on them to kill each other in order to survive. She was transported there alongside with Chase. When Arcade woke them up, Nico was among those who do not attack him.
She stayed with Chase and later tried with her to team-up with the Avengers, but when Chase was quickly accused of attacking and burning Reptil, the Runaways were rejected, and Nico, affected by the destruction of her magical tree by Hazmat, rejected Chase herself. When Arcade informed the participants of the existence of safe zones, the Runaways were seen still together. At this point, they teamed up with Cammi.
Eventually, their group rejoined the Braddock Academy, and the whole of them was later witness of a vengeance assault from Juston and Death Locket, respectively accompanied by X-23 and Tim Bashir (the merged twin brother of Apex). There, Chase revealed his Darkhawk's powers.
The fight evolved into a Juston/Darkhawk duel and was aborted by Tim's technopathy. Once everybody calmed down, they had to vote on Tim's fate. Nico voted for Tim to stay alive, but Chase wished for his death. Since most of the group wanted him to stay with them, Chase tried to take the kill but was expelled from the group by Nico's Staff. Later that night, Nico agreed to be on watch, allowing Tim and Death Locket to have a romantic moment. She was unaware by leaving, Tim reverted back to Katy, killed Juston, and vanished with the remains of Juston's Sentinel and Death Locket.
At morning, she was unable to stop X-23 from pursuing Katy. Explaining the situation to her awakening teammates, she was designated the fighter of the group because of her power set. Katy quickly attacked back, manipulating Juston Seyfert's Sentinel and Death Locket and bringing back the near-lifeless corpse of X-23. Nico battled X-23 and cast a spell to teleport Nara, Aiden, Cammi, and Cullen away, saving their lives. Nico closed the portal before she could teleport herself.
She then confronted Katy and her weapons, and was attacked by Chase, controlled in his Darkhawk form by Apex, who ripped off her left arm and pushed her from a cliff. Wounded to death, she was able to formulate a last spell (Help) before dying, afraid of dying alone.
Nico was later revived by the Staff of One, using her last spell as well as her blood as a sacrifice to bring her to life. The spell restored her missing arm and the rest of her body. Her staff is now half the size of what it was, while the other half seems to have been made into a gauntlet on her new arm. It appears that her staff and her gauntlet both work similar in forms of magic spell, as her previous Staff of One did. Nico then went to attack against Katy, Death Locket, and Chase, where she destroyed the sentinel and defeated Chase. Nico then used a spell that buried Death Locket and Katy, which she believed to have killed them.
These events leave her so distraught that, upon subduing Cullen's monster form, she tried to kill him and ordered Chase to hold off Cammi, believing that all being herself within the game would earn her would be an early death. Cammi confronted her in the Darkhawk Armor, having taken it from Chase, and tried to reason with her. At first, the talk between Cammi and Nico seemed to be working out, until Nico realized she had the amulet of Darkhawk. This made her suspect Cammi had harmed Chase. Before Cammi could explain, the two engaged in battle. Eventually, they and the other contestants were distracted by Hazmat's powers going out of control. After the situation with Hazmat was handled, Nico along with several others stopped fighting one another and decided to work together. The teenagers agreed that it wouldn't be easy to kill one another, and worse, Apex had begun to cause several creatures to attack them all. In the end, Death Locket saved Nico and the rest of them by killing Apex and stopping Arcade's machinery. Later, several adult superhero teams arrived on Murderworld, rescuing Nico and the surviving teenagers.
Three months after leaving Murderworld, Nico confronted Chase during his interviewed on a TV show. Chase commented that she missed Molly's birthday. Nico and Chase teleported to join Aiden, Cammi, and Death Locket at Cullen's house. They went to Bagalia to find Cullen, who had gone in search of Arcade.
Entering into the town of villains there was a brief scuffle where she called Chase's loyalty into question. She met Daimon Hellstrom, who offered to teach her about black magic. She was teleported with the rest to confront Arcade. Nico, Cullen, and Death Locket shut down Arcade's control center and re-joined Chase, Aiden, Cammi, and Hazmat to fight Arcade. They stopped short of killing him, when Hazmat finished him off.
Baron Zemo invited the seven Murderworld survivors to stay in Bagalia and join the Masters of Evil. Nico and Cullen fought demons at Mephisticuffs, a fight club in Bagalia. Daimon Hellstrom told her that she needed a friend to help her find a middle ground between being a hero and being a killer like her parents, and a resurrected Alex Wilder appeared before her.
Alex trained Nico to use her new powers. At first, Nico got mad at Alex for flirting with her. After a while, Nico decided that being good kept turning out wrong, so she was going to do the bad thing, and kissed Alex. Daimon mind-controlled Cullen into attacking Aiden, so Nico battled Daimon. The Avengers arrived to rescue Nico and the others, and a fight with the Masters of Evil ensued. The Masters suddenly disappeared, and Alex told Nico that it was all a trap by Baron Zemo. Alex said goodbyes and returned to hell.
Finding Your Way Home
Nico left the Runaways to reconnect with her family in Japan. The wedding of Nico's cousin was crashed by the arrival of Singularity, Medusa, and She-Hulk, who were escaping from the Antimatter. Nico assisted the heroines in fighting the villain, and they became a short-lived team called A-Force. Also, Nico woke up one day having regained her arm, with her staff and her powers also having returned to their original ways.
Nico attempted once again to lead a normal life, but this was interrupted by Chase, who had used the time machine that belonged to Gert's parents to go back in time in an attempt to save her from dying. Even though he failed to stop her from getting hurt, Chase retrieved Gert's body and returned it to the present. Arriving at Nico's house, Chase requested her help, and she used the Staff of One to save Gert's life. Enraged after learning that the team had drifted apart, Gert rallied Nico and Chase to get the team together. Nico was initially reluctant, but she realized that she didn't have anyone, and figured being together with the Runaways would keep her good.
When the team returned, they moved to The Hostel's underground main building. Nico stepped into team leader duties, but concealed how painful her relationship with the Staff of One had become, and refrained from summoning it. To help provide for the team, both Nico and Chase got run-of-the-mill jobs. Shortly after Karolina's girlfriend Julie Power broke up with her, Nico decided to act on her feelings for Karolina, and they started dating.
The Runaways' new normal was quickly shaken up by the unwelcome and temporary return of Alex Wilder heralding the Seed of the Gibborim, who forced him and the Runaways into house arrest for a week to decide to follow through with the Pride's plan to sacrifice humanity on their behalf. During this time, the Staff of One forced itself out of Nico's body to reveal its true nature, that it was in reality a magician named The One who had been transmuted into the staff by one of Nico's ancestors and could return to his human form for a few hours every time Mars aligned with the Earth and the Sun, and it was during the previous alignment which Nico slept through that the One had regrown her arm. Despite Nico's desire to get rid of the Staff of One, she saw herself forced to keep it since The One was evil and she couldn't afford to let him loose. However, The One convinced Nico to renegotiate the terms of their connection. Instead of Nico having to bleed to summon the Staff, each time she used it, a sliver of The One's will would be freed within Nico, and The One would also stop trying to force his way out of her body.
After the Runaways defeated the Seed of the Gibborim due to one of them, Gib, switching sides, Karolina started dabbling in super-heroics to find a sense of purpose. When Nico found out about it, she was eager to help her, and the two started patrolling the uneventful streets of Los Angeles wearing their own superhero costumes. Karolina's exploits caught the attention of the local hero Doc Justice, who welcomed the Runaways into his manor after the teenagers were forced out of The Hostel by an inadvertent public drainage work. The Runaways accepted to operate as crime-fighters under Doc Justice's wing, becoming a new incarnation of the hero's former squad, the J-Team. During this time, Nico adopted the mantle of The Gloom.
The Runaways were unaware that Doc Justice thrived off sensationalizing his super hero life to the point that throughout the fifty years of his career he routinely orchestrated the death of his young protégés to raise his own profile. After making this discovery, Gert convinced Doc Justice's son and assistant, Matthew Caniglia, to interrupt a staged mission that resulted in Karolina being drained of her solar energies by Doc Justice's ally Ashley Pearson. This encounter ended with Doc Justice's death at the fangs of Old Lace. Nico managed to save Karolina's life by using the Staff of One to make the sun rise.
The team returned to the Hostel with their morale battered by Doc Justice's betrayal, and Nico accompanied Karolina as she struggled to recover from her injury. She also confided in Karolina the new terms she had negotiated with The One, but refused to discard the Staff both because she felt it defined her and because it was useful. Karolina's condition alerted the Majesdanian Light Brigade and they offered to temporarily take her with them to treat her injury. Although reluctant at first, Nico let Karolina go, but turned down her invitation for the Runaways to join her since she believed the team needed stability. Promising Karolina to wait for her return, Nico handed her over the Staff of One to her so she could get rid of it. Around this time, Nico also joined Strange Academy as the Professor of Creative Spell Casting. She was involved, alongside the other faculty members, in a mystery regarding the cost of magic in the school.
Blood Magic: Nico has magical aptitude, but she did not receive formal training. So far she has relied on the Staff of One to work magic. After her encounter with Witchbreaker, her abilities were augmented so that she can create smaller magical effects without the aid of the Staff. She can freely float, although this ability is not as useful as actual flight which requires a spell. She can cast spells to change her surroundings, such as transforming the inside of a building.
- Flight: She can fly with the Staff of One.
- Magical Telekinesis: She can magically levitate and move objects with her mind.
- Magical Teleportation: She can open portals to teleport people to other places.
She cannot repeat spells with the Staff: they either will not work at all or will cause a random effect. This was evident in the early period of the Runaways' escape from their parents, when Nico attempted to reuse the "Freeze" spell she had used on Stacey Yorkes. She accidentally conjured a flock of pelicans. The use of different languages and the extent of her vocabulary permit her to perform more spells.
- Little more information is given to how Nico and her ancestor's meeting had ended, though the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe says that Nico had "escaped" her.
- A possible weakness of Nico's is 'wizard's ashes' which Geoffrey Wilder believed would stop her from being able to use her magic after stepping through a circle of them, as the person he used them on was actually Xavin in disguise it remains unclear whether this would have actually neutralised the real Nico's magic.
- Nico was sixteen years old during the events of Runaways (Vol. 2).
- Since it's later established in Runaways (Vol. 5) #1 that two years passed since Gert's death, it entails that Nico is eighteen in the latest volume.
- Nico and her family are of Japanese descent.
- Nico was raised in the Christian faith, attended church every Sunday, and was even an altar girl.
- Nico claimed that she played with My Little Ponies in kindergarten and that Gert hid them in the woods.
- Nico played the tuba in marching band.
- Nico is bisexual and after finally acting on her feelings is currently dating Karolina Dean.
- Nico is a member of the Forums social media network.
- Nico has stated that when casting a spell with the Staff of One she first has to conjure up a painful memory, often something that makes her feel guilty, before performing a spell and then something unrelated to that memory but convenient for the moment will 'pop out'.
- 162 appearance(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 9 minor appearance(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 1 invocation(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 393 image(s) of Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 24 quotation(s) by or about Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Nico Minoru (Earth-616)
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